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DJI will almost certainly be following the launch of the brilliant DJI Mini 3 Pro with a new kind of flying machine called the DJI Avata – and a fresh wave of leaks suggest it’ll be taking off very soon.

The DJI Avata has now appeared in several leaks, including a video that shows the mini FPV drone in flight and some clear photos of its design and packaging. With the Avata also previously appearing on the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) site in the US, there are now very few things we don’t know about the drone, aside from its release date and price.

Unless it makes a pre-launch appearance in Best Buy, which has happened in previous DJI launches, we probably won’t discover those details until the DJI Avata officially launches, alongside the new DJI Goggles 2 and an O3 Air Unit.

While the FCC filings(opens in new tab) don’t contain any images, we have seen plenty of DJI Avata photos leak separately, alongside a couple of the DJI Goggles 2 headset. According to those images, DJI’s next drone will be a ‘cinewhoop’ affair with guarded 3in propellors, which means it could be capable of shooting dramatic indoor footage.

If you aren’t familiar with ‘cinewhoop’ drones, they’re typically small models with built-in propellor guards that allow them to fly safely and steadily around people or in tight spaces.

This means the DJI Avata could differ quite dramatically from DJI’s other drones, which are mainly designed for shooting epic outdoor footage. Hence the new name, rather than another variation on DJI’s existing Mavic, Air or Mini ranges.

The DJI Avata could differ from most of the company’s other drones in another way, too. Alongside those built-in prop guards, the leaked images suggest it could have a camera with a single-axis gimbal, like the DJI FPV. This means it might be more reliant on DJI’s increasingly impressive electronic stabilization, as see on the DJI Action 2.

So what exactly do we know so far about the DJI Avata and when is it coming out? We’ve rounded all of the latest leaks and rumors in this regularly updated guide and seasoned them with our own analysis of what could be an exciting and unusual launch for the drone king.

Latest DJI AVATA News

August 8: flurry of new leaks, including a video and several snaps of the Avata’s packaging, reveal that the drone will have 4K stabilized video and DJI AirSense.

August 3: leaked photo of a new, smaller DJI Goggles 2 headset, which is likely to be compatible with the DJI Avata, suggests the drone is nearing launch.

July 27: An FCC filing in the US confirms the existence of the DJI Avata and a new DJI Goggles 2 headset, which is technically identical to the current DJI Goggles V2.

July 25: Another leaked photo of the DJI Avata suggests it will indeed have a cinewhoop-style design and be a compact version of the DJI FPV.

July 22: Tweet from reliable DJI leaker @DealsDrone suggests that the DJI Avata has been delayed from an original July launch due to a “factory expansion”.

May 20: The first leaked images of the DJI Avata drone appear on Twitter and suggest it could be a ‘cinewhoop’ drone with 3in propellors that’s suitable for indoor shooting.

DJI AVATA Release Date and Price

Earlier leaks suggested that we could see the DJI Avata launch sometime in July, but that’s now clearly been pushed back. Still, the drone’s recent leaks and its appearance in an FCC filing suggests it will arrive sooner rather than later this year.

The usually reliable DJI @DealsDrone Twitter account originally predicted the July launch, but on July 22 said that a “factory expansion” and a move to a “new location” has held up the drone’s arrival.

Given we’ve seen the first leaked photos of the DJI Avata – which typically happens around a month or so before a new product’s arrival – and an FCC filing, it seems reasonable to expect that we’ll seen the drone officially arrive in either August or September.

So far, there have been no leaks or rumors hinting at the DJI Avata’s possible price. Cinewhoop drones are typically home-built, hobbyist affairs that come with GoPro mounts. That said, pre-built models like the iFlight Bumblebee V3 (with DJI Goggles) can cost upwards of $999 / £999, so there’s no guarantee that the DJI Avata will come in cheap.

With the Avata almost certain to include a built-in camera and some FPV Goggles, it could potentially come in at a similar price to the DJI FPV, but we’ll update this page as soon as we hear more rumors.

DJI AVATA Leaks and Rumours

The leaked DJI Avata images we’ve seen so far point towards a radically different design to DJI’s current drones, but that’s to be expected given it’s a cinewhoop-style model.

Aside from the DJI Avata’s FCC filing, the biggest leaks have come from the @DealsDrone and @OsitaLV Twitter accounts, which has previously proven to be reliable sources for previous DJI launches like the Mini 3 Pro.

The first images (below), which appeared on May 18, revealed a small, plasticky drone with a design that’s pretty typical of current cinewhoop models, with those large built-in props to make it suitable for indoor flights or around people.

We’ve also more recently seen the images below leak from @JasperEllens on Twitter, which give us a clearer look at the Avata’s camera and single-axis gimbal, alongside its palm-sized design.

While the images give us a good look at the camera and lens, there are no markings that reveal its sensor size or maximum aperture, so it isn’t yet clear how good the Avata’s imaging skills will be.

While today’s cinewhoop drones usually have a GoPro mount without the camera, the DJI Avata appears to have a DJI camera module – and one that could, according to @DealsDrone, deliver similar video and image quality to the DJI Mini 3 Pro, which is the one of the best drones you can buy.

The leaked images also reveal a pretty large battery, which according to the FCC filing will be a 2,420mAh affair rather than the 2,000mAh battery in the current DJI FPV drone. This suggests it could have a longer flight time than the 20 minutes offered by DJI’s current FPV drone.

It does look like the DJI Avata will come with a new twist on DJI’s FPV Goggles, too. A leaked photo of an FPV headset that’s much smaller than the current DJI Goggles V2 appeared in early August – these are likely to be the DJI Goggles 2 we saw in the Avata’s FCC filing.

Then on August 6 a leaked video showed the new headset in action alongside the Motion Controller, which was previously an optional extra on the DJI FPV.

It isn’t yet clear if that the Motion Controller will be the only control option for the DJI Avata, or if there’ll be a bundle with a standard controller, too.

Still, the headset could also apparently support a “head chase mode”, according to another Tweet from @DealsDrone(opens in new tab) on May 15. Exactly what this will be isn’t clear, but it sounds like a (mildly terrifying) form of subject-tracking.

The new DJI Goggles V2 will also apparently connect directly to your phone, and the DJI Avata has also been tipped to come with built-in vibration reduction.

Whether this is referring to gimbal-based stabilization, electronic stabilization like DJI’s existing RockSteady, or perhaps a combination of both, isn’t yet clear. The leaked images suggest the drone will only have a single-axis gimbal, which means that an electronic roll axis will come to the fore.

This is backed up by the leaked packaging images, which includes a reference to “4K stabilized video”, alongside an “immersive flight experience” and “HD low-latency transmission”.

DJI has made impressive strides with both its RockSteady 2.0 and HorizonSteady stabilization, as seen on the DJI Action 2, so it seems likely that the Avata will take advantage of those. It’s possible that DJI could also deliver some post-production stabilization options, like the GoPro-friendly ReelSteady. The video below, for example, was stabilized in post using ReelSteady.

ReelSteady is used by most FPV drone pilots to smooth out the bumps and jitters that are common on small, lightweight drones. Because it uses the gyro metadata from GoPro action cams, rather than simply cropping into wide-angle footage, it gives you lots of control over the amount of stabilization in your videos. We’d like to see DJI offer an equivalent for its own FPV drones, given ReelSteady is now owned by GoPro.

Another potential benefit of a DJI-made Cinewhoop drone would be the inclusion intelligent flight modes, like its QuickShots. There haven’t been any leaks about this yet, but it’s something we’d expect to see in some form on the DJI Avata.

DJI AVATA Early Verdict

The DJI Avata is shaping up to be an unusual drone for DJI, but also one that makes a lot of sense and does fit into its broader strategy.

The drone giant is seemingly on a mission to bring pro filmmaking skills to the masses, whether that’s through making some of the best beginner drones to vlogging tools like the DJI Pocket 2, and the Avata appears to be that only for cinewhoop-style videos.

This style of video has gone viral a few times on social media in recent years, from bowling alley fly-throughs(opens in new tab) to Tesla’s more recent Giga Factory tour(opens in new tab). Many of the drones used in these videos already use DJI tech like DJI HD FPV system, so the launch of an all-in-one option wouldn’t be a huge stretch.

This would put it on another aerial collision course with GoPro, which recently launched its GoPro Hero 10 Black Bones camera for Cinewhoop drones. The latter is built more for advanced hobbyists, though, whereas it looks like the DJI Avata could be a little more plug-in-and-fly, in similar vein to its DJI FPV.

Source: TechRadar